Chandrayaan-2, as the name suggests, is the India’s second mission to the Moon. Chandrayaan-2 will launch onboard the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-III, or the GSLV Mk-III, from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh at 2:51am on Monday, July 15. Unlike Chandrayaan-1, Chandrayaan-2 will place a rover on the Moon.
The rover, named Pragyaan, will land near the lunar south pole and will carry out a number of experiments. The most significant of these experiments will be the one building up on Chanrayaan-1’s findings of water on the moon. Chandrayaan-2 will aim to find the extent of water molecules under the lunar surface.
Apart from the rover Pragyaan, Chandrayaan-2 also consists of a lander named Vikram and an orbiter. Vikram will house Pragyaan until the rover is set free on the Moon while the orbiter will revolve around the Moon for around a year, studying the satellite’s outer atmosphere.
The Rs 960-crore Chandrayaan-2 mission will make India the fourth country in the world to land a rover on the Moon. Previously, the United States, Russia and China have placed rovers on the Moon.
Interestingly, the Chandrayaan-2 launch will take place in the same week as the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 mission, which landed humans on the Moon. Apollo 11 launched on July 16, 1969 and landed on the Moon on July 20. Neil Armstrong became the first human to step on the Moon with the historic words: “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.
Chandrayaan-2 will be a similar giant leap for India’s space dreams. Apart from studying the Moon and the presence of water under the lunar surface, Chandrayaan-2 will also act as a precursor to India’s most ambitious space mission — Gaganyaan, which will carry three Indians to space.
Stay tuned as we bring you live updates on the Chandrayaan-2 launch.